- St. Joseph's Primary School, Macroom, Co. Cork

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The  vision for primary education espoused in the Primary School Curriculum (1999) is to nurture the child in all dimensions of his/her life: spiritual, moral, cognitive, emotional, imaginative, aesthetic, social and physical. The curriculum incorporates the child centred principles of Curaclam na Bunscoile (1971) but also includes new content and embraces new approaches and methodologies. It is learner-centred. It emphasises the importance of literacy, numeracy, and language, while at the same time responding to changing needs in science and technology, social personal and health education, and citizenship.

The general aims of primary education are:

* to enable the child to live a full life as a child and to realise his or her potential as a unique individual
* to enable the child to develop as a social being through living and co-operating with others and so contribute to the good of society
* to prepare the child for further education and lifelong learning.

Aistear- Early Childhood Curriculum Framework

Help my Kids Learn


The curriculum is presented in seven curriculum areas, including Religious Education which remains the responsibility of the different church authorities. The principal division of content within each subject is the strand.

The curriculum for each subject is presented in hard copy in separate books, with an accompanying Teacher Guidelines book. The Primary School Curriculum can also be downloaded as separate pdf documents or viewed online at www.curriculumonline.ie. The content of the Primary School Curriculum is presented in levels corresponding to a two year cycle for junior and senior infants; first and second, third and fourth; and fifth and sixth, to facilitate curriculum planning.

Our whole school evaluation went very well and the report is available on the DES website.

The table below identifies the curriculum areas and their constituent subjects.


The Primary School

Early Learning

Junior/ Senior Infant

1st & 2nd Class

3rd & 4th Class

5th & 6th Class


Full Video - Gaeilge

Full Video - French

Full Video - Lithunian

Full Video - Polish

Primary School Curriculum




English, Gaeilge



Social Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE)     

History, Geography, Science

Arts Education

Visual Arts, Drama, Music

Physical Education


Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE)


Religious Education


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